NBA Playoffs 2013 schedule: Thunder, Pacers aim for 2-0 series leads Tuesday

USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder look to expand their series lead to 2-0 on Tuesday while the Knicks hope to avoid dropping a second straight game at home.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have an opportunity to make a key statement Tuesday night, expanding their series lead to 2-0 over the Memphis Grizzlies despite the absence of Russell Westbrook.

Meanwhile in New York, the Knicks are just hoping to bring a 1-1 tie to Indiana after coming out flat in the opening game at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony in particular will need to find more efficient ways to score after the Pacers were able to stifle New York's attack by packing the paint and challenging shooters.

Coming off a stunning Game 1 comeback victory behind the superlative efforts of Kevin Durant, the Thunder have to be aiming for a more decisive win Tuesday. Once considered the favorites to represent the Western Conference in the Finals, OKC needs to re-assert itself as alpha dog after losing Westbrook to a knee injury.

Durant has done his part so far, turning in dominant performance after dominance performance since Westbrook went down in the middle of the first round. His Game 1 effort against Memphis -- 35 points on 26 shots, 15 rebounds, six assists -- was the stuff of champions, but he'll need to sustain that effort against a vicious Grizzlies defense.

Over in New York, the pressure is similarly looming on Anthony and the Knicks, but a loss Tuesday would have some radically different implications. If the Knicks head back to Indiana, where the Pacers are 33-11 including the playoffs this season, staring at a 2-0 deficit, it would practically spell doom for the Knicks' hopes of reaching the East finals.

In the opening game of the series against Indiana, Melo scored 27 points but consistently struggled to find open shots as the Pacers' defense limited his penetration. Difficult shots led to poor efficiency, and Anthony finished the night shooting 10 of 28 from the field.

Series Time (ET) TV
Pacers at Knicks 7 p.m. TNT
Grizzlies at Thunder
9:30 p.m. TNT

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